The purpose of IGI D Show was bringing diamond buyers and sellers together to facilitate more deals. Traditionally, trade shows serve as a venue for reconnecting with old acquaintances and exploring new opportunities. However, establishing new connections can be more challenging and less comfortable than interacting with familiar faces. Recognizing this, the grading lab IGI recently introduced a new approach for its D Show.
Departing from the usual location in India, where most manufacturers are based, the event took place in Dubai. The revamped format required participants to focus on forging new relationships rather than relying solely on existing ones. Thirty manufacturers, all except one hailing from India, rented booths to showcase their products.
However, IGI went the extra mile by covering the expenses of over 100 buyers, including flights, accommodation, and meals, with the explicit expectation that they would visit every booth and spend time with every seller. To ensure this happened, a team of hostesses, one assigned to each manufacturer, diligently recorded the attendance of buyers as more than 4,000 meetings unfolded over three days.
According to Roland Lorie, CEO of IGI, the show was "hands-on" and the obligation to engage with all participants made the event the most productive, considering the number of exhibitors involved.
IGI positioned itself as a shadchan, drawing parallels to a Jewish marriage broker, due to its extensive network of connections. Lorie explained that they recognized the existence of numerous jewellers and manufacturers who were unfamiliar with each other, while IGI possessed knowledge of both sides. In addition to issuing certificates, which facilitate the connection between buyers and sellers, IGI's primary responsibility lay in identifying the right visitors. They were careful in their selection, considering the preferences of retailers and the jewellery types offered by manufacturers.
The show's location in Dubai held cultural significance for many manufacturers, with its proximity to Mumbai, India, allowing for a three-hour flight. Buyers not only came from Dubai but also from countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, and Lebanon.
The objective was to bring together a limited number of prominent manufacturers and a select group of retailers. The intimate setting fostered deeper connections, as participants spent three days together, socializing over drinks, dinners, and even attending shows as a group. This environment encouraged the development of long-term relationships beyond the duration of the event.